While teaching can be a very fulfilling task, you may have had a moment or two when your patience had been tested by your preschooler. Although conflicts do arise in any interaction, there are ways in which they can be lessened.
Organize a routine
Even if young children are naturally curious learners, they need to develop an organized way of thinking that would be helpful in their future academic success. Creating a routine for your child would be helpful in making him recognize which tasks should be done first, second, and so forth. As you form this routine, however, you must consider your child’s abilities, limitations, and interests.
For example, if you feel that your child is still very young, it is safe to start your routine with the easiest or most interesting task for him. On the other hand, if you have observed that your child works more efficiently when he is looking forward to something that interests him, you may want that task to be the last. Recognizing your child’s strengths and weaknesses make the routine more feasible hence, creates less tension. As you establish your routine, be consistent as much as you can so that in the long run, your child may be able to do it on his own.
Make expectations clear It is ideal to develop your child’s concept of good and bad behavior before the age of seven because it is the age by which most morals are formed. As parents, you will have to be the one to set the standards. Again, these standards should coincide with the capabilities of your child. You will also have to be consistent in encouraging the virtues you value and discouraging unacceptable behavior.
Before you start your routine, discuss the dos and don’ts of studying. Explaining why a certain behavior is acceptable or not allows your child to understand and remember the rules better.
Make sure your child knows what to do If your child usually stands up and roams around before starting a task, ask if he really knows what he should do. Some children refrain from starting because they simply do not know how. If your child replies that he does know what to do, ask him to verbalize what he knows. This way, you can check if it is correct or with which aspect he may be having difficulty.
Give ample break time. Whenever you feel that your child is becoming inattentive or that your patience is about to be tested, it may be time for a short break. This may be a good time to go to the bathroom, stretch, drink, eat, or have a conversation. Never use break time for playing with the computer or watching the television. You may have difficulty getting your child to focus on the next task.
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You may also use break time as a reward or something to look forward to after a difficult task. Before you have a break, though, you must mention how long it should last so that your child may have some idea what he would want to do with the time and that he can be aware that he has to back to studying.
Be creative Young children still have difficulty understanding abstract concepts. Using concrete-experiential methods in teaching these concepts can make your child become more participative in studying and hence, learn better. Instead of simply using pencil and paper in teaching math, for example, use manipulatives or everyday objects to count, add, or subtract. Make you’re your child look around or outside your house when learning about verbs. In short, make studying meaningful and fun for your child.
Although tutoring can be very challenging, try to make sure that at the end of each session, you and your child will be able to remember at least one thing that you both felt you did well.
About the Author Kachela Albert-Mariano holds an M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of the Philippines and has had ten years of teaching experience.
Photography by Jun Pinzon
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